Cherry Garden School41 Bellenden Road, London, SE15 5BB

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Cherry Garden School is a Primary School for Pupils with Special Educational Needs, from 2-11 years of age. We aim to provide motivating, challenging and relevant education to all pupils with a range of disabilities, including Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD), Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD) and Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC).

We respect that many pupils with SLD/PMLD typically experience a diverse range of unique qualities that can present barriers to their learning. It is important that schools such as Cherry Garden implement a curriculum that pays sufficient attention to addressing these barriers which may inhibit pupils’ access to, and progress within, the National Curriculum. The recent White Paper (2010) echoes these sentiments for personalising the curriculum, commenting that:

"All schools are given the resources and space they need to offer a truly rounded education… freeing teachers to construct a broader, deeper, more enriching curriculum." (The Importance of Teaching: The Schools' White Paper, DfE, 2010)

Following the guidance from the White Paper, and with consideration for the Statutory Framework for the EYFS (DfE, 2012), we have reviewed our school curriculum to create a child-centred curriculum, with a focus on planning and delivering a curriculum that suits each and every individual child. We have achieved this through addressing pupils’ particular educational needs, with specialist curricular approaches to meet all learning needs, which aims to provide a relevant, motivating and challenging curriculum.

Our child-centred curriculum aims to provide a framework that will enable pupils to develop the skills they require to learn effectively and enjoy a good quality of life.

Aims and Objectives

The Cherry Garden Child-Centred Curriculum aims to be:

  1. MOTIVATING – pupils learn when they are interested, stimulated and engaged.
  2. RELEVANT - relevant to the learning styles of the pupils and takes into account their prior knowledge and learning needs.
  3. CHALLENGING – suitably high and realistic expectations are held by everyone in the team, and inclusive teaching that ensures progress for all pupils is evident.
  4. FOCUSED – Individual Education Plans should be central to all aspects of provision.

Organisation of the Curriculum

Our child-centred curriculum promotes respect for each child as an individual, emphasising the four core development areas of Communication, Personal, Physical and Cognitive skills. As far as possible, Individual Education Plan Targets are integrated into these curriculum areas to meet the needs of the individual pupils.

At each key stage, the curriculum holds the child at the centre of the curriculum, with each child having four core areas of development, which are taught through six Areas of Learning, as shown in Diagram 1 below.

The six Areas of Learning are derived from the EYFS Framework (2012)

  • Communication, Language and Literacy
  • Mathematical Development
  • Understanding of the World
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social, Emotional Development
  • Creativity

Each pupil’s four core areas of development should be planned for and developed through these Areas of Learning across the school day, with a teaching approach and content that reflects the age and learning style of the individuals in the group.

The Individual Area of Learning Subject Policy will give more information on provision of these Areas of Learning, however we aim to deliver a broad and balanced education that is adapted to meet the needs of every pupil, and overcome any barriers to learning using a range of specialist interventions. Examples of this enhanced curriculum include:

Physical Development           

  • Rebound Therapy
  • Hydrotherapy Swimming
  • MOVE Program
  • Sensory Programs


  • Individual Music Therapy Sessions
  • Dedicated Dance and Movement sessions – including Sherborne Technique
  • Links with local Creative Partners such as Southwark Playhouse, Bow Arts, Globe Theatre and London Philharmonic Orchestra 


  • Community links with local schools, with pupils having opportunities for inclusion 

Communication, Language and Literacy

  • Intensive Interaction
  • Write Dance Program
  • Objects of Reference
  • Touch Cues
  • Makaton
  • PECS
  • The Grid Program for iPad 
  • Use of eye gazer

Curriculum Summary

Each key stage has a two-year topic cycle which comprises half-termly topics. Learning expectations within the pre-formal and semi-formal curriculum have been broken down in each 'Area of Learning’ in order to provide clear curriculum coverage and progression for every child, appropriate to their level of learning. Our new curriculum provides rigour in ensuring it is broad and balanced but also ensuring pupils focus on core skills (IEPs) within this functional and creative curriculum.

See examples by clicking on the links below:

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